coronavirus pandemic in Turkey
Turkey's Deputy Interior Minister İsmail Çataklı has said that reports of Ankara mulling re-imposing curfews are "completely baseless." Çataklı's comments came after Reuters, citing a senior official, said that the government is weighing the re-implementation of lockdowns to stem rising coronavirus cases in the country.
Turkey's bar associations have observed a shrink in the number of attorneys appointed to child sexual abuse survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. While pandemics have historically witnessed a surge in child abuse cases, experts fear that the shrink in data might indicate survivors' lack of access to help.
A study has indicated that the government was aware of the coronavirus in Turkey in the month prior to the announcement of the first case. Meanwhile, two Turkish scientists have said that Istanbul recorded 6,645 more deaths than expected between March 11-Sept. 29, based on weekly averages from the last five years – suggesting a hidden toll.
At least six million students are unable to access remote education due to a lack of internet or proper devices in their household, according to the educator's union Eğitim SEN. While some families have one smartphone only, others complained about finding areas that have internet access since the connection frequently fades in and out.
The Turkish government is reportedly planning to hand prison sentences between two months and a year to those violating quarantine rules based on an article of the Turkish Penal Code, which regulates behavior in violation of the measures against contagious diseases. The country on Sept. 23 announced the death toll as 72 - its highest since the beginning of May.
Authorities in Istanbul announced curbs on weddings and other ceremonies in Turkey's largest city on Aug. 29. The restrictions were published a few hours before Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 1,549 new cases of coronavirus had been diagnosed in Turkey, the highest daily number since mid-June. Thirty-nine people died, the most since mid-May, he said.
Turkey on Aug. 30 marked the 98th anniversary of Victory Day amid measures imposed against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The restrictions on the Victory Day celebrations have stirred controversy once again, since the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) tends to prevent widespread celebrations of national and secular holidays.
The Unity for Democracy platform has released an announcement on its website on Aug. 24 asserting that Turkey's present coronavirus situation is out of control and has called for urgent measures to be taken, citing recent figures and statements from healthcare experts.
For hotels across Turkey, 2020 has become a fight for survival, with the outcome crucial for a tourism industry which earned $35 billion in 2019 and whose losses this year have hit the country's foreign exchange earnings and contributed to the lira falling to record lows against the dollar. Ankara has tried to salvage the sector with intensive diplomacy and a healthy certification program meant to lure tourists.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that Turkey is in talks with Russia, Germany and China about conducting Phase 3 trials for coronavirus vaccines developed in those countries. Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, he said there were 13 vaccines being developed in Turkey, three of which have gone beyond the animal testing phase.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed cooperation on Moscow's recently registered coronavirus vaccine in a phone call. Besides, the presidents focused on certain issues on the bilateral agenda, including the expansion of trade and economic partnership. They agreed to continue contacts at different levels.
Turkey's coronavirus count rose on Aug. 15 to its highest daily level since June, with total deaths nearing 6,000. Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said on Twitter there were 1,256 new cases and 21 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing total cases above 278,000, and he urged Turkish people to work together to turn things around.
CHP MP slams justice ministry for not revealing number of coronavirus cases in prisons for nearly 50 days
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Gamze Akkuş İlgezdi has slammed Turkey's Justice Ministry for not revealing the number of coronavirus cases in prisons for nearly 50 days. "A heightening risk is in question at prisons, but the ministry is more concerned about hiding the number of cases than struggling against the virus," she said.
A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy has tested positive positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) days after attending Friday prayers at Istanbul's Hagia Sophia. Akay is the third AKP deputy to announce that he was diagnosed with coronavirus after attending the prayers.
Social distancing was completely forgotten around Istanbul's Hagia Sophia ahead of its opening as a mosque, prompting concerns on the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Health Minister Fahrettin Koca shared warnings on Twitter, urging people to follow precautions. "First comes precautions, then takbir," Koca said, referring to the Arabic term for the phrase God is great.